In the Windows 8 store, I saw a link saying "Update to Windows 8.1 for free". So I clicked on it, and it downloaded, and the installation began.

But after that, it was asking me for a product key, and since I didn't have one, I skipped it, and it showed that Windows 8.1 was not activated.

Why is this? How can I fix it? The Windows 8 and 8.1 installations are both legitimate (not pirated), so I don't understand. Also, in the Windows 8.1 Store installation videos on YouTube I have watched, no such Product Key step is even shown.

  • 2
    If you enter your Windows 8.0 product key it will activate. – Ramhound Dec 31 '13 at 11:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I also had this issue when I upgraded. Here's what I did to fix it:

(I'm recalling this from memory so the steps may not be EXACTLY as I've stated, but it should be pretty close)

1) Dig out your original Windows 8 key

2) Go to your desktop and press win-r to open the run dialog and enter "slui.exe 3"

Run Dialog with slui.exe 3

3) You'll see the following screen

Windows Product Key

4) Enter your Windows 8 product key

5) Once your key is entered it should start automatically checking to see if it's valid

6) Once the check is complete, follow the instructions to activate, reboot and then Windows should be activated

  • ok, so how do I find my windows 8 product key? I've tried using Belarc Advisor, but it gave me a key different to the one shown in windows activation (windows activation only shows the last 5 digits though). – think123 Dec 31 '13 at 21:08
  • It depends where you got your Windows 8 key from. If you bought it online, you should have a confirmation email containing your key. If your PC came with Windows 8, then the key is embedded in the BIOS. Have a look here nextofwindows.com/… to see how you can extract it. Otherwise, have you tried the key that Belarc Advisor showed you? Windows activation will always show a key, even if one was not entered (on one of my virtual machines, I skipped entering the key while installing Windows 8 and it still showed a "key") – Kryten Jan 1 '14 at 4:57
  • Yes, I've tried the key that Belarc Advisor gave me, and that's why I know it's a generic key. – think123 Jan 1 '14 at 6:21
  • Did you try extracting the key from your BIOS? Otherwise, unless you have your confirmation email or an image of your old install I'm out of ideas :/ I suggest you try what's suggested on this page answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/… and get them to resend your confirmation email. – Kryten Jan 1 '14 at 6:58

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